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Stories for May 17, 2013

Navajo Nation Explores Future Of Coal

May 17
Tristan Ahtone
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The Navajo Nation says the only financially viable future for its coal supply may be in clean coal technologies and overseas exports.

Why the IRS Scandal Is Built To Last

May 17
Frank James / NPR
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Of all the controversies swirling around the Obama White House, the Internal Revenue Service scandal seems likeliest to have the longest shelf life.

Injuries Reported In 'Major' Train Derailment In Connecticut

May 17
Scott Neuman / NPR
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Two Metro-North Railroad trains have collided on a stretch of track near Fairfield, Conn., causing a "major derailment" and "preliminary reports of injuries," according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

'Bike To Work Day' Highlights San Diego's Infrastructure Needs

May 17
By Megan Burks
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City Heights groups seize on Bike to Work Day to advocate for better bike infrastructure.

San Diego Unemployment Drops To 7 Percent

May 17
City News Service
3 Comments
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The unemployment rate in San Diego County in April was 7 percent, down from a revised 7.7 percent in March and below the estimate of 8.6 percent in April 2012, the state Employment Development Department reported today.

Great Performances At The Met: Rigoletto

May 17
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Great Performances At The Met: Rigoletto  Tease photo

Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer ("Spring Awakening") makes his Met debut with a new production of Verdi’s "Rigoletto." The new staging moves the opera’s tragic events from a decadent 16th-century Italian court to the glitzy, depraved setting of the Las Vegas strip circa 1960.

Antiques Roadshow: British Museum 2

May 17
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Antiques Roadshow: British Museum 2  Tease photo

A return visit to the British Museum in London as Fiona Bruce and the team examine family treasures brought in by thousands of visitors. Amongst the pieces under scrutiny are dozens of historic finds dug up by mudlarkers working on the banks of the Thames, a Roman pot which turns out to be the work of Victorian con men, and a collection of unseen images of a young Elvis comes to light.

As Strike Looms, UC Medical Centers Cancel Elective Surgeries

May 17
By Kenny Goldberg
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Elective surgeries are being canceled at University of California Medical Centers in anticipation of a potential strike next week by thousands of patient care workers.

Michigan LGBT Youth Center Does Outreach With A Dance 'Hook'

May 17
Kyle Norris / NPR
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If you're a homeless young adult, chances are good that you're gay, bisexual or transgender. And if you live in the Detroit area, the Ruth Ellis Center is trying to reach you. The center, based in Highland Park, Mich., has taken an unorthodox approach to helping homeless LGBT youth -- and it starts on the dance floor, specifically with the dance form known as "vogue."

Boston Bombings Prompt Fresh Look At Unsolved Murders

May 17
Joel Rose / NPR
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An unsolved triple murder in the Boston suburbs is getting a closer look in the wake of the marathon bombings. One of the victims may have been a friend of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. That's prompting authorities to revisit the 2011 case.

Obama U: What Graduation Speeches Say About The President

May 17
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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This weekend, President Obama will give a speech that very likely won't be about the controversies of the moment.

A Field Guide To Democratic Responses To Scandals

May 17
Alan Greenblatt / NPR
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President Obama's first term was free from the kind of scandal that consumes every ounce of political oxygen in Washington. Now, in light of a trio of controversies, his supporters find themselves in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of having to defend some hard-to-defend events.

Illinois Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana Bill To Governor

May 17
Scott Neuman / NPR
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The Illinois Senate has approved a measure to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, sending the bill to the governor for his signature.

After Deadly Chemical Plant Disasters, There's Little Action

May 17
Daniel Zwerdling / NPR
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You might think that everything would have changed for the chemicals industry on April 16, 1947. That was the day of the Texas City Disaster, the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. A ship loaded with ammonium nitrate -- the same chemical that appears to have caused the disaster last month in West, Texas -- exploded. The ship sparked a chain reaction of blasts at chemical facilities onshore, creating what a newsreel at the time called "a holocaust that baffles description."

Advice TO GOP: Don't Legislate, Focus On Scandals

May 17
Tamara Keith / NPR
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Heritage Action, the political activist offshoot of the conservative Heritage Foundation has some advice for House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor: focus on the scandals plaguing the Obama administration and stay away from legislation that could "highlight major schisms" within the House Republican Conference.

Review: 'Kiss Of The Damned'

May 17
By Beth Accomando
3 Comments
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If the French New Wave ever hooked up with Hammer Horror their bastard offspring might look like “Kiss of the Damned” (opening May 17 at Landmark’s La Jolla Village Theaters).

Roundtable: Cancer in Jail; Sea Wall Lawsuits; Frogs With Fungus; Mice With Alzheimer's; Undocumented Millions

May 17
Midday Edition
11 Comments
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A woman dying in Las Colinas jail would be released if she were in prison. Homeowners atop the Solana Beach bluffs may sue the city. The decision to import African Clawed Frogs decades ago having dire consequences now. The landscape of undocumented immigrants in California and the nation is complex.

Aw-Inspiring Video: Sea Lion Worries When Little Girl Falls

May 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Take a break from the scandal du jour for something that's just darn nice.

American Masters: Mel Brooks: Make A Noise

May 17
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American Masters: Mel Brooks: Make A Noise  Tease photo

In 60 years in show business, Mel Brooks has earned more major awards than any other living entertainer. A comedy giant of our time, scrawny Melvin Kaminsky developed his aggressively funny personality on the mean streets of Brooklyn, to protect against bullies. His first public success came in the early '60s with the "2000 Year Old Man" albums, recorded with Carl Reiner and unleashing Brooks' wacky mind on the world -- his brazen satirical film "The Producers" won the 1968 Oscar for best screenplay and such cult classics as "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," "The Twelve Chairs," "High Anxiety," "To Be or Not to Be," "Spaceballs" and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" followed.

Doctors Confirm Black Lung In Victims Of Mine Blast

May 17
Howard Berkes / NPR
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The tragic deaths of 29 coal miners in a massive explosion in 2010 have provided new evidence of a resurgence of the disease known as black lung.

Washington Green? State Creates Logo For Legal Pot

May 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Along with draft rules for how to become a licensed grower or seller of marijuana, the Washington State Liquor Control Board this week released the official "icon logo" that will need to be put on packages of pot and "marijuana-infused products sold at retail."

Psychology Tops List Of SDSU's Most Popular Degrees Among 2013 Graduates

May 17
KPBS
9 Comments
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A degree in psychology is the most coveted among San Diego State University's class of 2013, the university said Friday.

Antiques Roadshow: Seattle, Washington - Hour Two

May 17
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Antiques Roadshow: Seattle, Washington - Hour Two  Tease photo

It wouldn’t be a visit to Seattle without a ride up the Space Needle! ANTIQUES ROADSHOW host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Nicholas Lowry visit the tower to talk about World’s Fair posters. Seattle’s discoveries run the gamut with a circa 1964 “Star Trek” script and pitch letter; a Civil War dog collar; and Harriet Frishmuth bookends valued at $10,000.

San Diego-Based Navy Officer Fired For 'Inappropriate' Emails Sent To Female Subordinates

May 17
By Beth Ford Roth
1 Comment
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The Navy has removed Cmdr. Allen Maestas as executive officer of the San Diego-based Beachmaster Unit 1 because of "inappropriate" texts and emails sent to two women in his command.

Biking To Work: Healthful Until You Hit A Pothole

May 17
Nancy Shute / NPR
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There's a lot to love about biking to work: the exercise, the fresh air, the cost savings and the benefits for the environment.

Fungus-Spreading Frogs Could 'Wipe Out' California Amphibians

May 17
By David Wagner
2 Comments
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The San Diego Zoo's resident frog disease expert worries that a fungus carried by invasive frogs could make most of California's amphibians simply disappear.

Soldier Drowns In Afghanistan

May 17
By Beth Ford Roth
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Army Sgt. 1st Class Trenton L. Rhea, 33, died May 15 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, Rhea drowned while attempting to cross a body of water during combat operations.

Qualcomm's Matt Grob Talks Wireless Technology And Healthcare On White House Series

May 17
By Tarryn Mento
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Better wireless technology helps us play more games and stream more movies on our smartphones, but Qualcomm's executive vice president, Matt Grob points to another area for its use.

San Diego Youth And Their Parents Invited To Get First-Hand Look At Juvenile Hall

May 17
By Susan Murphy
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The San Diego public is invited on Saturday, May 18 for a behind-the-scenes look at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility.

Men Say Hair Loss Drug Causes Sexual Problems And Depression

May 17
By Kenny Goldberg
17 Comments
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The most popular drug for hair loss in men, Propecia, can cause debilitating side effects, including loss of sexual function and depression.

Review: 'Pieta'

May 17
By Beth Accomando
0 Comments
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The South Korean film "Pieta" (opening May 17 at Reading Gaslamp Stadium 15) had its San Diego premiere at Pac-Arts' Spring Showcase earlier this year. It now returns for a theatrical run.

Kai The 'Hatchet Hitchhiker' Is Accused Of Murder

May 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Caleb "Kai" McGillvary, who became an Internet sensation in February with his colorful account of how he bashed a man with a hatchet to stop an attack on a utility worker in California, is now under arrest for the murder of a lawyer in New Jersey.

Congress Due To Grill Ousted IRS Chief

May 17
Mark Memmott / NPR
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Steven Miller, who until this week was acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, is due at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday morning at which he'll be questioned about the agency's targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 campaign cycle.

Budget Woes Mean Big Delays For Small Claims Courts

May 17
Emily Green / NPR
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Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services -- they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.

Firefighters battle flames, terrain, north of LA

May 17
Associated Press
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FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (AP) -- Firefighters had to battle terrain as much as flames as they worked to surround a wildfire entering its third day in harsh hills and mountains north of Los Angeles.

AP Case Adds To Obama Team's Tough Record On Leaks

May 17
Ari Shapiro / NPR
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President Obama had a reputation when he took office as a liberal former constitutional lawyer who had condemned Bush-era national security policies.

LA Mayor Candidates Try To Persuade Voters To Pay Attention

May 17
Kirk Siegler / NPR
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The candidates have spent a record amount of money. They've stumped hard in a city that isn't easy to campaign in -- 470 square miles sliced up into neighborhoods divided by a web of freeways.